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Council shelves proposed vertical housing in the city

by Rojean Grace Patumbon and Joana Mae Villanueva/UM Interns


THE CITY Council temporarily shelved the proposed vertical housing project in Davao City on Tuesday’s regular session, at least until after inviting resource speakers to clarify some issues. 

Vertical housing is typically apartment buildings and communal spaces common in metropolitan areas. As the population grows, so does the space to build housing. 

So, the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) suggested focusing on vertical development to address the 6.5 million backlog due to land shortage.

One of the flagship programs of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) Program, which aims to build six million housing units for Filipinos from 2023-2028.

Back then, most of the housing developments were concentrated in Metro Manila, comprising 80% of the total projects. Meanwhile, Visayas and Mindanao will have to share the remaining 20%. During then-President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, P500 million was allocated to Davao City, and an additional P700 million was also disbursed to produce the approved 20 projects/properties in 2020.

In a span of a year, SHFC plans to build one million houses or units if the council approves the plan to use vertical housing. At present, SHFC has built 380,000 residences. 

The target location for the vertical housing in the city would be Riverside Calinan, particularly in a 14-hectare area. This housing project will have about 4,000-8,000 units with 3-5 floors, some even reaching ten floors and above. 

I think medjo naapektuhan na din yung agricultural areas natin fruit-bearing na din kasi yung agricultural areas yung sa NEDA po namin na 60,000 for housing kinompute po namin hindi talaga kasya sa horizontal lalo na po sa residential area ng Davao (I think our agricultural areas were somewhat affected since the agricultural areas are fruit bearing. We computed the 60,000 housing of NEDA, and it showed that if we utilize horizontal housing, it will be impossible, especially in the residential areas of Davao),” said Margo Babao, SHFC Operations OIC manager.

SHFC’s vision of using vertical housing is rooted in President Marcos’ program of providing settlements for the masses. 

However, Councilor Conrado C. Baluran questioned the proposed vertical housing in Calinan.

“Instead of building horizontal houses, which is the spirit of social housing, these will now [be] converted to high-rise or vertical. That is a violation of what we have given to them. Second, do they have permits in our city? Maybe (of) those located in our district in Riverside and Tugbok will now be converted to vertical. What will happen to them?” said Baluran.

Baluran also added that he is concerned about his low-income constituents, claiming that tricycle drivers, kwek-kwek vendors, barbecue vendors, and banana cue vendors could not afford these vertical units. 

Lawmakers agreed to invite National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and National Housing Authority officials to answer the council’s concerns, particularly regarding the permits.


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